ERWDA's strategy is a huge success

ABU DHABI - The Emirates Centre for Wildlife Propagation - Houbara Bustard Captive Breeding Programme at Maisori, Morocco, has emerged as one of the leading institutions in the world.

By (By a staff reporter)

Published: Wed 28 Jan 2004, 12:33 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 2:30 AM

The centre, established by the President, His Highness Shaikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, in 1995, now represents a leading concept for the sustainable management of the houbara bustard population, according to Majid Al Mansouri, Secretary-General of the Environmental Research and Wildlife Development Agency (ERWDA).

Briefing a European Union (EU) media delegation visiting the country to view achievements made by the UAE in the conservation of environment and wildlife, he said the centre had achieved significant success as all its programmes had matured in its strategy to become a coherent and integrated project organised as a network of specialised stations managing a controlled hunting area.

"In that perspective, the centre is one of the leading institutions in the world and represents a leading concept for a sustainable management of the houbara bustard population," he told the delegation which included editors of leading environmental magazines in Germany, France, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, The Netherlands, Switzerland, and Italy.

The 13-member delegation was hosted by the Ministry of Information and Culture and ERWDA.

Mr Mansouri also briefed the delegation about Shaikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan's programme of "Falcon Release" which is being implemented annually with the support of the Falcon Hospital at Al Khazna. He said that the programme succeeded in releasing more than 780 falcon since it was launched in 1995.

Abdulnasser Al Shamsi, CITES (the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species) Office Manager, of the Federal Environmental Agency (FEA), also spoke at the meeting on UAE's efforts in implementing this Convention.

He said that following the CITES' standing committee's recommendation for the trade suspension on UAE to be lifted, significant and positive progress towards the implementation of CITES in the United Arab Emirates had been done.

The delegation also visited the Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital where they were briefed by Dr Margit Muller, Senior Scientist and Veterinarian, on the modern health care facilities provided by the hospital to birds in general and falcons used in the hunting sport, in particular. It also visited the Arabian Saluki Centre, the National Avian Research Center (NARC) in Swaihan.

He said for over a decade, NARC has been able to achieve numerous scientific accomplishments that have made it among the leading centres in the world with regard to the studying and conserving the houbara bustard.

On Sunday, the delegation was briefed on ERWDA's soil survey project and UAE's water resources. Dr Mahmoud A. Abdelfattah, a soil scientis, at ERWDA's Terrestrial Environment Research Centre said, the first, systematic soil survey of Abu Dhabi was under way and was being conducted by the Soil Resources Department, which was established in January 2002 by ERWDA.

He said a soil survey of the Emirate would allow potential users of soil resources to understand soil and their response to a variety of natural and human influences. The survey would provide the interpretation and analysis necessary to translate raw data into usable information for the end user. Mr Abdelfattah said the coastline of Abu Dhabi had been selected as a pilot study area to begin soil survey on a small scale and then enlarge it to a large-scale project.

The delegation was also briefed on ADWEA and its project in water production, in addition to treated wastewater and irrigation techniques in the UAE.

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